Saturday, December 31, 2011

Once a Scientist...

Mr. Curious is a little old man with knobbly knees.  When I first saw him, he was under assault by two nurses pulling his clothes off.  As his little knees knocked against each other in cold, he politely answered the questions shot in rapid sequence.  I grabbed him a blanket and he exclaimed, "what is this blanket made of?"

S: I'm not sure, Mr. C.
Mr. Curious: Speak up, I can't hear you!
S: I am not sure what they're made of.
Mr. Curious: They feel so warm- why is that?
S: Well, Mr. C, I got them for you out of the warmer.
Mr. Curious: No! I mean, what is this material? It's remarkably warm.
S: I think all the little pill-like fibers keep heat in. More surface area, crevices, and insulation.
Mr. Curious: I'm a scientist, see, and I don't know if it would be too much trouble, but can I have a small piece of this blanket?

I told him he could keep it and he was enthralled.
He explained to me that he used to design polymers for industry and had amassed many patents in his 90+ years of life. It was wonderful to see that at such an age, in such a situation, his sense of wonder and intellectual curiosity was intact. Once a scientist, ever a scientist.

Happy New Year!

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